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Tilia, the one-stop payment platform created by Second Life, has sprung from Linden Lab and has raised a minority investment from JP Morgan Payments.
The plan aims to enable metaverse payments for all businesses that need financial services for their virtual economies. Tilia will now become its own company, independent of Linden Lab, owner of Second Life, the virtual world that debuted in 2003.
“They’ve invested in us and fostered a really great partnership,” said Brad Oberauger, CEO. Telia. “We are like a spearhead for metaverses. They are a good partner with a great deal of credibility.”
Oberwager will be a speaker at the upcoming 2022 GamesBeat Summit event on October 25-26 in San Francisco. (You can use Dean50 to get 50% off tickets.)
San Francisco-based Tilia payment solution has regulatory approval and is designed for game, virtual world and mobile app developers. It handles payment processing, in-game transactions as well as payments to creators by converting the world’s tokens into fiat currency including the US dollar, which serves as the backbone of any efficient virtual economy.
Drew Swinsky, managing director of JP Morgan Payments, said in a statement. “We are pleased to invest in Tilia LLC, a market-leading provider of software game payments tools, to develop solutions for these exciting new markets.”
Oberauger sees his company as crucial to the metaverse.
“Tilia is money in metaverses. It’s money that has moved into metaverse and money has moved out of the equation,” Oberwager said. “And why is that so important because you can’t have the concept of a metaverse without a social economy. It is the social side and the financial side. These two things should work in harmony. To do money, you need some virtual tokens to earn money. “
He added, “The money has to be very solid. This is JPMorgan. This is the partnership. What is the value of Telia? You can’t create a metaverse without user-generated content. You can’t build a metaverse without social interaction. You can’t build a metaverse without some kind of The financial tokens that allow people to build a world.”
The company will use the funds to expand its business and enter new markets.
“We’re moving money in the metaverse area,” Oberwager said. “It’s a real thing. This is where the investment is headed. We have a client list and people will come to us.”
Tilia fuels commerce in Second Life, which has generated $86 million in payments in the past 12 months. Second Life still has an economy of $650 million nearly 20 years after it was founded. Tilia has about 48 employees.
Oberauger said the deal took about a year to work with JPMorgan Payments. During that time, Tilia made sure it could be interoperable with JP Morgan.
“We are preparing clients now,” he said. “It’s really a party coming up for you.”
Tilia’s virtual payment system converts tokens and in-game currency into fiat currency easily and securely. Built from the ground up to power Second Life and its creator-driven economy, Tilia has been developed over several years to build its unique capabilities. Some of its capabilities have been painstakingly acquired over the years as the company has secured important licenses to send money in the United States
To transfer funds, Telia had to obtain money transfer licenses in every state in the US to back payments, allowing for secure transactions on a large scale. Tilia provides developers with the tools to enable thriving and profitable economies in the world that enable players and users to buy and sell virtual goods and services and facilitate powerful profit-making gaming software.
“Virtual economies represent a huge financial opportunity especially for game and app developers and the virtual world,” said Oberwager. “JP Morgan Payments, the global leader and recognized innovator in payments, is the right partner as we continue to expand our capabilities in line with these rapidly growing innovator-driven economies.”
In addition to investing, Tilia is also working with JP Morgan Payments to enhance its existing capabilities across its processing platform including providing increased payment and payment methods, expanding payment currencies and support services.
Tilia LLC is a US-based money transfer licensed financial services company that operates virtual economies and provides secure transactions at a large scale. Tilia is involved with many virtual worlds, metaverses, online games, and NFT marketplaces, including Second Life, Upland, and Avatus.
Oberauger said Second Life’s highest earning earner is $2.5 million a year.
“It’s good when the creators can make money,” he said. “There are people around the world who make a living building things in Second Life. And 80% of entrepreneurs in Second Life are women. It’s a great equalizer when you’re your avatar and nobody knows your skin color. Nobody knows where you went to college. No Nobody knows what state you were born in. It’s a level playing field.”
“That’s why I think it’s so important,” Oberwager said. “These universes are social economies. If you don’t allow people to make money, if you don’t allow this economy to happen, if you don’t support creators, you’re going to have to rely on an advertising model to make your world work. That’s a disaster. That would be the worst thing that could happen to our society – Metaverse Ad based.
Oberwager thinks such a metaverse would be invasive, as companies would track your movements so they can better target ads to you.
“This is not the world we want to live in,” he said.
“These metaviruses in games are going to get bigger and bigger,” said Oberauger. “We already spend a lot of time on the Internet.”
While Tilia is trying to figure out how to do crypto payments, it is difficult to use crypto for payments when the value of the cryptocurrency continues to fluctuate. If it fluctuates too much in one direction, no one will accept it. And if it swings a lot the other way, everyone will stick to it as a big investment.
“It’s going to be really interesting where all of this goes,” Oberwager said.
With Upland, Tilia operates payments made within the blockchain, where players pay each other with fiat currency.
“When these companies run Tilia, they start to grow,” Oberwager said. “Until they do that, they can’t pay for user-generated content and that holds them back. There are some very big universes that haven’t yet made the money rails. I think the world is changing.”
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